Jets OC Chan Gailey retires, 5 assistants let go
NEW YORK (AP) — Chan Gailey is calling it a career, and Todd Bowles is shaking up his coaching staff.
The New York Jets announced Tuesday that Gailey has retired after two years as Bowles’ offensive coordinator, and five assistant coaches will not return following a disappointing 5-11 season.
Quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo, running backs coach Marcel Shipp, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, outside linebackers coach Mark Collins and defensive backs coach Joe Danna will not be back.
It appears that both defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers and special teams coordinator Brant Boyer will remain with the team.
In a statement issued by the Jets on Tuesday, Gailey said he informed Bowles before this season that he would retire after the year.
“I thought it was best to tell him early, so that he could begin to think about how he would move the team forward on offense,” Gailey said. “While we did not have the season we all wanted to have, I think there are some great people here at the Jets and in the New York/New Jersey area. I wish them all the best moving forward.”
Gailey, who turns 65 on Thursday, joined the Jets shortly after Bowles was hired as coach two years ago.
“I’m grateful to Chan for joining our coaching staff and enjoyed working with him,” Bowles said in a statement. “The respect that I have for him as a person and a coach only increased during our time together.”
Reunited with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Gailey helped lead New York to a terrific season on offense in 2015, when the Jets set franchise marks with 5,925 yards of total offense, 4,057 yards passing and 362 completions.
Fitzpatrick thrived under Gailey with a team-record 31 touchdown passes, while Brandon Marshall set franchise marks with 109 catches and 1,502 yards receiving.
But things turned sour quickly this season as Fitzpatrick struggled mightily after re-signing with New York on a one-year, $12 million deal. The Jets opened 1-5, Fitzpatrick was benched twice, Marshall was inconsistent and fellow receiver Eric Decker landed on injured reserve as New York ranked 26th in overall offense.
While the hot seat warmed under Bowles, speculation began that Gailey could be on the way out, too. When asked last week if he wanted to continue to coach, Gailey was noncommittal.
“I always have loved to coach,” he said. “I’ve always loved to do that. I think it’s in my blood. I think it’ll be there until I go to the grave.”
He was then asked specifically if he wanted to return to the Jets next season.
“I said I love football and that I love to coach,” he said. “I always love to coach. That’s all I said.”
Gailey previously served as a head coach in the NFL with Dallas (1998-99) and Buffalo (2010-12), and was as an offensive coordinator with Kansas City, Miami and Pittsburgh. His coaching career of 40-plus years also included stints as a college head coach at Troy (1983-84), Samford (1993) and Georgia Tech (2002-07).
The decisions on the other assistants came two days after the Jets finished the season and announced there would be no change in leadership, meaning both Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan would be back for a third year.
Bowles said Monday that he and his coaches need to be better, as well as the players. Patullo, Shipp, Johnson, Collins and Danna had all been on Bowles’ initial coaching staff.
“I appreciate all of their hard work and commitment and wish them the best,” Bowles said.
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